Using developmental theory and concepts to analyze the development of a character in a book or a film

The study of human development can take place at many levels (e.g., at the level of the individual, his/her family, society, or culture) and across many domains (e.g., biological, emotion, cognition, social).  Moreover, most theories that purport to provide a reasonably complete picture of human development explicitly recognize the need to cross boundaries, that is, to take account of factors that impinge on development which may occur at multiple levels.  In other words, trying to understand an individual’s developmental history or to make sense of their current situation often requires an analysis that spans multiple domains and levels. Read a novel, and to examine the development of a particular character with reference to some developmental theory (e.g., Erikson’s theory of development) and/or to address any of the ‘key issues’ (e.g., nature-nurture; stability vs. change; discontinuous vs. continuous development; domain specificity vs. domain generality) in developmental psychology that you may spot in the book/film.

 

 

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